U.S. stocks ended lower after the first drop in retail sales figures in seven months raised fears that weakness in the U.S. economy was broadening beyond the manufacturing sector. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% to finish near 2,990. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 21 points, or 0.1%, to end around 27,004, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% to end near 8,124. Retail sales fell 0.3% in September, well below the 0.3% increase forecast from economists polled by MarketWatch. The prospect of a U.S.-China trade deal also came under doubt after China threatened to retaliate over bills moving through Congress backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. This comes as earnings season kicked off this week, with corporate results mostly topping analysts’ expectations so far. Shares of Bank of America Corp. rose 2% after the company reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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